This I Believe: The Scales of Life


Guillaume Bouramia skiing at Stowe. (Photo/Guillaume Bouramia)

Guillaume Bouramia, AP Language and Composition Student

The alarm clock rings, it’s Monday. I think to myself, “I don’t wanna wake up, it’s so comfortable, I wish I could just stay here forever.” On Saturday morning, I say to myself, “Wow, now I feel even more groggy and tired after sleeping in.” This paradoxical relationship faces me with a problem. This desire for comfort, innate within me, can destroy me. This is a useful survival instinct, but in the modern world, there is no lion to chase me. I have unlimited access to any comfort my ancestors could have ever wished for and more. But I feel more lost than ever. I am left to constantly hunger for this meal of comfort, always growing to be bigger and better; but, even after feasting, I am just left more hungry. I starve—depleted, purposeless, empty.

When I exercise I just don’t feel like doing anything sometimes, the discomfort of it, it takes willpower to force myself to take action. Why not just stay and relax, it is comfortable this way. But only in this, climbing out of a hole, doing something uncomfortable forces the mind and body to push themselves and rebuild. Only in this stress, can the signal for growth be elicited. Leaving my comfort zone actually makes me a broader comfort zone. If I was in complete comfort with no need to move my limbs, everything would atrophy, and no signal for growth would be initiated. I would stagnant and become weak, as that is all I am asking of myself. Only when we do what we don’t want to do, we restore the balance in our lives and raise the bar of what is comfortable or not.

I believe that we need a balance of all: pain and pleasure, stress and relief, destruction and growth. Everything must be experienced. In this we find peace, no matter the moment, neither good nor bad, it just exists for us to find the experience. This is what frees us, no seeking of one feeling, rather just feeling what is in front of you at the moment. Today, I have found myself pushing for goals or reminiscing on the past; leaving the present moment. Even though it is the most important and real part of being a human. Living through some time without the daily comforts that we take for granted, can serve us as a reminder of what we have. I find that appreciating the little things can shift our perspective, just as sleeping after a long day of work compares nothing to sleeping after sleeping all day.